"We Are The World" remake cast is beyond random
Imagine for a moment that you just found out -- like two minutes ago -- that you have to plan a benefit event three days from now. It's not entirely crucial that every last attendee be a sequin in the social fabric of your hood, but some of them should be, at least; the others can be nobodies or has-beens. Point is, you've gotta have 80 to 90 people there with some sort of local Q rating. So the texts and tweets fly, the cellies explodes, the mass-emails boomerang, and eventually it becomes apparent that you've managed to convince 80 to 90 people to show up to this gala in three days. Sure, maybe only like 30 of them are big enough deals to draw in the local paparazzi, and the stars are dimming for another 30, and the other 30 might as well be homeless people you bribed to attend with cash and canolis. But you made it happen.
You go to war with the military you have, I guess. And for this "We Are The World" remake -- which will air on Friday, February 12 as part of the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver -- Lionel Ritchie and Quincy Jones scrounged on a short notice-basis for famous people who were willing to check their egos at the door and work through the night to recreate a 1985 charity single in order to bring post-earthquake relief to the people of Haiti.
To scan the list of participants is to laugh out loud for several minutes, perhaps on the floor, rolling around and howling; it's as though '80s, '90s, and '00s pop culture were compressed into a single surreal cocktail party. Demographically, it all makes sense; to sell an obscene number of singles and rebuild a country, this thing has got to appeal to the widest possible audience.
If one were so inclined, one could classify the invitees this way:
The Fully Entitled
They are legitimately famous right now, have a proven ability to perform, and have every right to be part of a "We Are The World" remake single.
Justin Bieber, T-Pain (T-Pain is arguably talented), Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, P!nk, Jason Mraz, Drake, Jordin Sparks, Trey Songz, Jamie Foxx, Lil Wayne, Miley Cyrus, everybody on the list whose last name is "Jonas" (again, arguably), Zac Brown, The Black Eyes Peas (who are awesome because they are deliberately terrible in a populist way)
They're related to somebody famous who was intimately involved in the making of the original "We Are The World."
Nicole Ritchie (Did you see her guest judging on Project Runway recently? She looked like a walking cadaver, or a raccoon strung out on meth - I was embarrassed for her), Rashida Jones, almost everybody on the list whose last name is "Jackson"
The At-The-Right-Place-At-The-Right-Time (The Fortunate)
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony? For serious? I mean, I love Bone Thugs, but the idea of Bone Thugs on a cut with Celine Dion and dudes from Good Charlotte is doing my head in right now.
Nipsey Hussle, Issac Slade (Slade is a member of the Fray, who you probably heard of, but have totally forgotten about -- I know I did), Melanie Fiona
The Slipping, Floundering Opportunists
They're still working on the whole fame thing, or losing (or have lost) their grip on it; a little bump to the 'ol name-recognition wouldn't hurt.
Keri Hilson, Rob Thomas, Adam Levine, Nicole Scherzinger (The lead Pussycat Doll! Whose solo career fizzled, fo'shizzle, without anybody really noticing! Who recently was horrible as a host on NBC's The Sing-Off -- alongside Ben Folds and some guy from BoyzIIMen. How the might have fallen), Mya (has a sizable, enjoyable body of work and a sultry, recent Southern-rap flavored mixtape, but most will remember her from the "Lady Marmalade" video), Heart, Sean Garrett (who did a dynamite hook on one of the three million Gucci Mane mixtapes that dropped last year), Joel Madden, Benji Madden
The Bored and Slumming
They're celebrated. They're filthy rich. They care about impoverished, suffering people. They were in the area and had nothing better to do. After all, how many evenings in a row can you buy out the bar at Spago, anyway? How many entourage members can you smoke up at once? How many dozens of Make-a-Wishes can you grant before all that angelic a-lister bullshit just gets played out?
LL Cool J, Earth Wind & Fire, Snoop Dogg, Gladys Knight, Carlos Santana, Enrique Iglesias,
Barbara Striesand (she beat Mariah in a first-week sales battle last fall, which has gotta count for something, right?), Brian Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Harry Connick Jr. (he was Debra Messing's TV hubby on Will & Grace, wasn't he?), Jeff Bridges, Tony Bennett